Boshemia is an independent online and print magazine revolving around arts and culture through an energised, engaged, inclusive feminist lens. A global collective of storytellers and activists, with a core team based in UK, USA and France, and collaborators from all four corners of the earth.
The third time’s the charm! I am so lucky to have been included in Boshemia again. The theme of ORIGINS really resonated with me and I wrote several poems about my experiences along with those of my mother and grandmothers.
I foolishly forgot to send in some pics for the theme but here is one of me visiting my Pra Babcia’s (great grandmother) grave and another of my grandmother and some friends looking suave…
Pra Babcia (Great Grandmother)
My namesake-- though on naming my mother never knew was a Magdalena, holds the only grave with two cherubs and a weeping Mary in the graveyard that prohibits statues. “There goes Magdalena: even in death making a scene.” For my sister— when I chose to fit the name Anna to her tiny form, how were we to know it had been done again? Her headstone sits in leaf-washed light not too far from mine and every time we visit my dad points out “She was a witch, you know.” And though my child will never be an Edna or a Christine I am glad for the ivy ties the solid stone that links me to the Babcia that I could never know.
It was a little unexpected when she looked supposedly at a seedling, the little sprout of her yet to grow family tree she saw a full formed branch just sitting there. Stretching five or six forgotten generations it sat off to the side of the stump of the rest of her sapling. On losing her father her mother had taken an axe to that side of all things to the tendril roots and little leafed cousins. Yet here they were all mapped out by someone who knew and cared enough to build and water and sustain the truth. So she reached out for the forgotten branch and sent caterpillar notes sent birdsong feelers to find the ears of a forgotten cousin. Soon their tree splayed easy twigs held new branches high and set its roots and in between the leaves came the chatter of picking up a conversation where you just left off.
I am a two-step from the home of my name one I have to repeat or spell out or give up for ease or speed. Though I keep the features that my sister doesn’t seem to have the face called foreign on some basic dating app. The language is lost on me a mother tongue that my father never taught me one laughed out by colleagues tossed around the streets falling flat to my ears. But I am a two culture kid (two and a bit) for who counts the stepped stone (of America) when my name knots (with Slavic vowels) and hot pierogi set the table (though badly made) when the cold winters (I have never seen) still warm my mix of blood.
Issue 05 // ORIGINS // Summer 2019